Top 10: Heavy Metal Bands

Heavy metal, often referred simply as metal, is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, mainly in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Has its roots from blues-rock and psychedelic rock. The bands that created the genre developed a heavy, massive sound, characterized by high amplified distortion, extended guitar solos and emphatic beats.

The Allmusic states that “in all formats of rock ‘n’ roll, heavy metal is the most extreme form, in terms of volume, and theatricality.”

The first heavy metal bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple attracted large audiences, a common attribute in the entire history of the genre.


In the mid-1970s, Judas Priest boosted the evolution of the genre by removing much of the blues influence present in the first generation of British metal;

Motörhead introduced aggressiveness and anger in the vocals, the influence of punk rock, and an increasing emphasis on speed.

Bands of the “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” as Iron Maiden followed the same line. Before the end of the decade, heavy metal had attracted a crowd of fans worldwide known as “metalheads” or “headbangers”.

In the 1980s, glam metal became a major commercial force with groups like Mötley Crüe.

The Underground produced a series of more extreme, aggressive styles scenes:

Thrash metal broke into the mainstream with bands like Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer, while other styles like death metal and black metal remain as phenomena of the metal subculture.

In the 1980s, the power metal was also created, with bands like Helloween and Blind Guardian.

Since the mid-1990s, popular styles such as alternative metal and its most famous areas: industrial metal, nu metal and rap metal, often incorporating elements of hip hop and funk.

For its part, metalcore, hardcore punk that combines with extreme metal, have further expanded the definition of the genre.

1. Black Sabbath

The band was formed in 1968 in Birmingham, UK.

Originally composed by Ozzy Osbourne (vocals), Tony Iommi (guitar), Geezer Butler (bass) and Bill Ward (drums).

Subsequently, there were numerous changes in band, and Lommi was the only fixed element.

Though often classified as a hard rock band (Butler once defined the style as “a heavy, distorted blues”), Black Sabbath is considered one of the pioneering heavy metal bands, with crucial influence on the development and definition of style . Since its formation, has sold over one hundred million copies of albums.

2. Judas Priest

The heavy metal band Judas Priest was born in Birmingham in mid-1969.

The first album of the band, Rocka Rolla, was released in 1974 by Gull Records. From the album Sin After Sin, the third of the band, all his works have been released by Columbia / Sony until 1990.

It was one of the most influential heavy metal bands of the ’70s, spearheading the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, NWOBHM or simply (New Wave of British Metal) at the end of the seventies.

This was the first band to join the weight and violent thematic created by Black Sabbath at a speed of some rock bands like Led Zeppelin, adding a forward line with two guitars.

They were also responsible for the removal of the characteristic blues British hard rock groups of the 70s triad formed by Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple.

Were also responsible for adopting leather costumes with props and chromed metal chains arising between punk rock lovers rock. The band has sold about 50 million albums in 44 years of existence.

3. Motörhead

Bassist Lemmy Kilmister started in music even in the 1960s, as a roadie for Jimi Hendrix’s band. His professional beginning in the arts took place with the psychedelic rock band Hawkwind, who reached a few hits in the 1970s.

Later Lemmy would be fired from Hawkwind to have been arrested at the Canadian airport for possession of drugs.

Lemmy Klimister didn’t gave up and decides to create a band together with the musicians Larry Wallis and Lucas Fox, the Bastards, but quickly changed its name to Motörhead (American slang for amphetamine addicts).

4. Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden, a British heavy metal band, formed in 1975 by the bassist Steve Harris, ex-member of the bands Gypsy’s Kiss and Smiler.

Originally from London, was one of the leading bands of the musical movement known as NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal). The name “Iron Maiden”, namesake of a medieval torture instrument that appears in the film The Man in the Iron Mask, based on the works of Alexandre Dumas.

With almost four decades of existence, fifteen studio albums, six live albums, fourteen videos and many compacts, Iron Maiden is one of the most important and successful bands in the entire history of heavy metal, having sold more than 100 million album registered throughout the world. His work influenced many bands of rock and metal. Are cited as influences by many bands, old and new.

Today, they are still considered by the vast majority of sound technicians as the best rock band live.

5. Ozzy Osbourne

John Michael Osbourne, known as Ozzy Osbourne, born in Aston, England, December 3, 1948, is a British musician, composer and singer.

After leaving the Black Sabbath in the late 70s, went through troubled times due to excessive use of drugs until forming the first band that would accompany him on his solo career.

In 1980 he released his first and most classic album “Blizzard of Ozz” with hits like “Crazy Train”, “Mr. Crowley” and “I Do not Know”.

Soon after came more studio albums and 10 million copies have been sold.

Ozzy won several awards and tributes from around the world.

6. Metallica


Metallica is an American metal band formed in Los Angeles, California. Their songs include quick times and aggressive musicianship, which put them in place of the “Big Four” of thrash metal, along with Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax.

The band was formed in 1981, after James Hetfield responds to an advertisement that the drummer Lars Ulrich placed in the local newspaper.

In 2003, the group is now composed by lead guitarist Kirk Hammett (who joined the band in 1983), the bassist Robert Trujillo (member since 2003), Hetfield and Ulrich.

Before arriving at its current formation, the band had several members: lead guitarist Dave Mustaine (who later founded Megadeth), and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted.

7. Slayer

Slayer were formed in 1981 and are from Huntington Park, California.

The band was founded by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King.

Slayer came into superstardom in 1986 with the album Reign in Blood, and is considered as part of the Big Four of Thrash: the four biggest thrash metal bands of all time, along with Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax.

The musical style of Slayer involves rapid tremolos, varied and complex guitar solos, double bass drum on drums and heavy vocals alternating from falsettos to guttural.

The lyrics and album art based on themes such as serial killers, Satanism, religion and war, which caused many problems throughout the history of the band, as albums prohibitions, delays in Tornes, legal proceedings, besides being a constant target of criticism from religious groups.

8. Anthrax

Heavy metal band from the United States, founded in New York in 1981 by guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker, Anthrax was one of the most popular bands in the thrash metal scene of the ’80s.

Notable for its combination of metal with hardcore punk and alternative music, thanks to the success of their first album.

Anthrax belong to the “Big Four” bands of thrash metal alongside Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth, and heavily influenced thrash metal with their first three albums.

Over the years they changed their musical style, since the release of the single “I’m The Man”, incorporating elements of rap.

The group is also considered one of the firsts establishing the genre rap metal.

9. Pantera

Pantera is a North American metal band from the city of Arlington, Texas, founded in 1981.
It is composed by the Abbott brothers, Vinnie Paul (drums) and Diamond Darrell (Dimebag Darrell, guitarist, came only in the 1990s).

The bassist Rex Brown joined the band in late 1981, along with vocalist Terry Glaze.

In 1987 Phil Anselmo became the vocalist.
After the break up of the band in 2003, any hopes of a possible reunion were lost on December 8, 2004, when Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed on stage while playing with the band Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio.

Pantera has sold over 40 million copies.

10. Sepultura


It is a Brazilian metal band born in 1984, created by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera in Cavalera Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais.

It is considered the Brazilian band with greater impact in the world.

Sepultura have diverse influences, ranging from black metal and death metal, thrash metal passing by external metal inspirations, like hardcore, Japanese and African tribal music, Indian music, among many other musical styles.

Sepultura name (in English, Grave) was chosen when Max Cavalera was translating a song by Motörhead called “Dancing on Your Grave”.

The band original formation was Paulo Jr. (bass), Igor Cavalera (drums), Max Cavalera (guitar only) and Wagner Lamounier (guitarist and vocalist).

In 1985, Wagner leaves, forming the the sarcophagus, and Max takes the vocals, Jairo Guedez enters as second guitarist.

The following year, Jairo exits, in 1987, and enters the band Andreas Kisser, establishing the classic lineup that would last ten years.

Currently, the singer is American Derrick Green and the drummer Eloy Casagrande, being the sole guitarist Andreas.

Sepultura has sold approximately 20 million albums, earning multiple gold and platinum albums, including countries such as France, Australia, Indonesia, United States, and in its native land, Brazil.

Now put the volume in maximum, grab a bottle and whatever else you want and remember this words:

A kid once said to me “Do you get hangovers?” I said, “To get hangovers you have to stop drinking.
Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister of Motorhead – 2006